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How to Download YouTube Videos: The Complete Guide (2023)

Last Updated on December 8, 2022

how to download youtube videos

Watching YouTube videos has become an integral part of many people’s entertainment. In fact, there are 2.6 billion active users per month, making it the second most popular social media website in 2022.

However, for users to access the website or app, they need a stable internet connection. But what if the internet connection is limited? How can you still watch YouTube videos?

The best way is to download YouTube videos on your device ahead of time, but there are a few caveats to watch out for.

The big one is that you need to be familiar with the privacy policies and terms and conditions when you download any YouTube video.

But don’t worry! I’m here to help you out.

In this post, I will explain the policies you need to be familiar with when downloading Youtube videos and guide you on how you can download YouTube videos for future use.

Ready? Let’s Fly!

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can compensate me (at no cost to you – but will buy me a cup of coffee) if you decide to purchase a paid plan. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. You can read our affiliate disclosure here.

Is It Legal to Download YouTube Videos?

Person signing legal contract

The answer to this question depends on the video you’ll be downloading. While YouTube doesn’t actively encourage people to watch their videos offline, at the same time, they don’t have strict measures to convert into different formats.

So, if you plan on downloading YouTube videos for personal consumption, you need to check if the creator permits you to do so.

In addition, you can’t download any video with the intent of sharing them for profit or re-uploading them to another site. That’s why you only should save videos to your device for personal use.

Anything other than that could be seen as copyright infringement, which is a violation of the law. So, if you don’t have malicious intent in downloading videos from YouTube for the purposes of making money from it, then it’s perfectly legal.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. Please seek proper authority from a legal expert for more information and personalized guidance.

Choosing The Right YouTube Video Downloader

With all the tools and websites out there, it can be challenging to find the right one that delivers the best quality. Many websites can be misleading and often provide you with a subpar quality video file.

Or the thing which I hate the most is all the popup ads that come as soon as you land on the page!

To help you out, I’ve listed five key features that you should look for in a YouTube downloader tool:

  1. Video quality: An essential component you need to check when choosing a suitable YouTube video downloader is the video file quality. You need to be able to easily select the output video standards, and it shouldn’t require you to provide additional information. Some may require you to sign up or create an account if you need a higher quality like 4K, but getting at least 720p video quality should be fairly straightforward.
  2. Available in multiple file formats: A good YouTube video downloader should allow you to choose what format you want for the downloaded video. The download options should include MP4, MP3 (for music and audio), AVI, and more.
  3. Speed: Some downloaders take forever before you can convert and download a YouTube video, even if you are connected to fast and stable internet. If this is what’s happening to the tool that you’ve chosen, ditch it straight away. A decent service provider should allow you to download the YouTube video you want as quickly as possible.
  4. Subtitle option: Sometimes, the video you want to download comes in another language. If there are no subtitles, you won’t be able to appreciate and enjoy it. That’s why the downloader you pick should have an option for you that supports subtitles.
  5. Video editor: While this isn’t a crucial feature, it can be beneficial to use a tool that allows you to edit the video you want to download. This will enable you to cut unnecessary scenes you don’t want to see, so you can only focus and create your own version.

How to Download YouTube Videos Through Your Web Browser

There are hundreds of tools that you can use to download a video from YouTube. One of the easiest and most popular ways to do this is through your web browser. This allows you to convert videos and download them without installing any software on your computer. Here are some of the best sites you can use to download YouTube videos:

1. y2mate.

y2mate homepage

This web-based tool is best if you want something straightforward and easy to navigate. Y2mate is a free Youtube downloader that allows you to download a video in various qualities up to 1080p. It also allows you to only download the audio without the video.

Pretty cool stuff!

Here’s how you can use this tool:

  1. Go to YouTube and look for the video you want to watch offline. You can use any device as long as it has a web browser. Once you have found the video, go to the address bar and copy the URL of the video.
  2. Next, go back to y2mate and paste the link you copied in the text box provided. The website will automatically load the video and provide different download options. If it doesn’t, click Start.
  3. Once the tool analyzes and loads your video, you can choose what format you want the video to be saved in. If you choose the video format, you can select the resolution of the converted video. For the best quality, I suggest you choose 1080p. But if your device doesn’t have enough space, 720p is still an acceptable quality.

    Y2mate download format options
  4. If you only want to download the audio file, click the Audio or mp3 tab. This will only give you a sound file, which works perfectly if you only plan to download music.
  5. After choosing the file type and resolution, click the Download button beside it. A pop-up box will appear. Then, click the Download button from the pop-up box, and your download should begin.

2. Homepage

If you want to download Youtube videos in a higher quality like 4K, is the one for you. On top of that, it even allows you to download a YouTube playlist in a few simple steps. This means you don’t need to spend your time downloading each video manually.

Follow the steps below to start using

  1. Visit YouTube on your browser and look for the video or playlist you want to download. If you are only downloading a video, you can copy and paste the URL of the video on the address bar. For playlists, you need to go to the Youtube channel’s page, click the Playlists tab and VIEW FULL PLAYLIST under the name of the playlist you want to download. This will redirect you to a new page. Copy the URL of this page and go to the next step.
  2. Next, go to the website. Paste the link of the video or playlist on the URL box provided and choose the format you want from the drop-down menu. After that, click Download. The tool will begin converting your file. download page
    Don’t judge me with the song – It’s an awesome ballad. 🙂
  3. Once your video or playlist has been converted, press the Download button, and your YouTube video should start downloading.

3. homepage

If you want to directly download a YouTube video from the website, the easiest way you can do it is by using This tool allows you to save videos to your device without visiting any website, installing any software, or using any browser extension.

Here’s how to use this tool:

  1. Go to the YouTube website and search for the video you want to download.
  2. Once you have the video, go to the address bar and add ss after the www. For example, if the original URL is, the edited link should look like

    how to add ss into
  3. After editing the URL, press Enter on your keyboard. This will redirect you to the website.

    Yes, you just got Rick rolled. 🙂
  4. Down the bottom, you’ll see a link that says with low quality. This is the free version. Anything higher (1080p) requires a paid subscription. download page
  5. Lastly, choose the format and click Download to download the video.

How to Use YouTube Video Downloader Software

If you want a handy tool installed straight into your computer, a third-party YouTube video downloader software is the way to go. Unlike web-based tools, using third-party software allows you to queue multiple YouTube videos simultaneously.

This means you don’t need to wait for each video to finish before adding another. However, these apps can take up space on your computer, so if you’re running out of storage, you might want to consider a different option on this list.

4K Video Downloader.

4k video downloader homepage

If you want the most flexibility when downloading YouTube videos, 4K Video Downloader is the software for you. This app has different download options allowing you to choose the video format and quality of up to 8K.

It also automatically downloads subtitles and lets you download whole playlists. The 4K Video downloader software is also available for both Windows and Mac devices.

Here’s how you can download a YouTube video from this app:

  1. Go to the 4K Video Downloader website and download the app to your device. Make sure you download the correct installer for your system. Once downloaded, follow the on-screen instruction to install it on your computer.
  2. Go to YouTube and copy the URL of the video you want to watch offline.
  3. Then, click the Paste link button in the app to start the download process.
  4. Once the app analyzes the video, it will provide different download options. Choose the format and video quality you want and press the Download button. If you want to download the subtitle, click the drop-down menu beside Download Subtitles and select your preferred language. You can also choose where you want to save the output file by clicking the Browse button.
  5. Lastly, click the Download button your video will start to download.

5K Player.

5K Player Homepage

If you want an all-in-one media player and YouTube downloader, 5K player is a great option. In addition, a DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) player allows you to share content between devices in your home or Wi-FI network.

It’s also powered by AirPlay, which lets you share media between Apple devices.

Here’s how you can use this app to download a YouTube video:

  1. Download the 5K player on your Windows or Mac device.
  2. Once downloaded, follow the on-screen instructions to then install it.
  3. Go to Youtube and search for the video you want to download. Then, copy the URL and open the 5K player app.
  4. In the app, click the YouTube button and select Paste URL & Analyze.
  5. Once the app analyzes the link, click the Download button to begin downloading the video.

How to Download a Video Using the YouTube App on iOS or Android

You can still watch YouTube videos offline if you don’t like using third-party apps and sites. However, some videos may not be allowed for offline use as some creators set their videos to private and don’t allow offline viewing.

Using the YouTube app itself also won’t allow you to download any Youtube video locally onto your device. This means that you can only watch the video on the app itself.

Here’s how you can download videos from YouTube to your iPhone and Android device.

Note: You must have YouTube premium to access this feature.

  1. On your smartphone, open the YouTube app and search for the video you want to watch offline. If you don’t have the app, you can download it from the Google Play Store or Apple Store.
  2. Inside the app after you have chosen your video simply press the Download video button.

    YouTube download button
  3. After selecting the quality, the video will start downloading in the background.
  4. The video will now be saved inside your downloads tab.

    YouTube saved downloads

One thing to be aware of that I noticed when using this method is that the video is only saved to the app itself. So even if you have the same account installed across multiple devices, you’ll need to download it through the app on each individual device.

Bottom Line

YouTube has been around for years to keep us entertained but you can’t always be online, such as when flying in an aircraft, or trekking across the country. But with these tools and methods above, you can now watch your favorite videos, movies, and series even without an internet signal.

For its simplicity and awesome features, my go-to is 4K Download.

It’s time to be the pilot of your life, not just the passenger.

Which method do you prefer to use? Do you have a favorite tool that you use?

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